This summer, I finally took the plunge into home brewing with the help of my neighbor. It's been a blast and I think, like many others, I've found something that I may do for the rest of my life. It has the perfect combination of science and art to make it fun and enough variability to keep in interesting as well.
This weekend, I brewed my third batch of beer. This batch was something much lighter and less alcoholic than my previous two batches. It's a Kolsch style brew. If you think of a standard, mass-produced beer, you'll have the basic idea. The primary difference with what I did and what the big breweries do is in temperature and the fermentation process (i.e. yeast). Your Miller's, Michelob's and Budweiser's are lagers, which ferment at lower temperatures on the bottom of the brew and for longer timer periods than your standard ale.
A Kolsch is an ale from the Cologne region of Germany that has lager-like qualities but ferments in the 65 F range. We'll see how it turns out. I pitched the yeast yesterday and as near as I can tell, active fermentation has begun.
UPDATE: Fermentation is going strong on day 4. I used new airlocks that behave differently than the ones I've used in the past.